Saturday, September 19, 2015

Wicked West - Populations, Religions, and Intrigue

The Wicked West is sparsely populated, but on the rise

  • As more resources are discovered, more settlers are drawn out West to swell the townships.  And larger populations are more demanding when it comes to law and order.
  • The populace may find the local sheriff to be in someone's pocket, in that instance they might be best off turning to the Pinkertons: a private security firm that sticks to the letter of their contracts.  The Pinkertons apply a combination of new scientific methods with the old techniques of the Third Degree.
  • The First Nations are a rich composite of different cultures and societies, raging from nomads across the Great Plains to pueblo dwellers in the Southwest and the the great lodges of the Pacific Northwest.  All can agree that the encroaching wave of settlement is something to watch and prepare for. 
  • While the primary thrust of settlement is coming from the East to the West there is a trickle of folks coming from California eastward  constructing the railroads.  Most have already undergone a long journey from their homeland in China.

The Wicked West is fertile ground for human belief, and its practices
  • Every settler out West believes in the Messiah, but he's not necessarily the son of Yahweh.  The wide open wilderness and savagery rekindles dormant beliefs.  One town, Enoch's Hammer, is home to a church with a Christ figure nailed to a hammer and another sacrifices travelers to a Great Beast that crawled in.
  • Just as strange churches are occupying public life, constant exposure to numina has influenced private life as well.  The practice of seances has become increasingly popular among the more well-to-do citizens.  Through a medium a group can either invite things from Outside in, or project themselves Outward and visit Malum psychically.  Projecting mediums describe the World's super structure as treelike.
  • Sundering the Union of 13 has reinvigorated the possibility of magical practice in the untamed West and the First Nations benefit as well.  Their shamans and warriors draw upon ancient pacts and the land rises to their call.  The Malum corresponding to their Otherspaces are closer and the chances of coming across thunderbirds, puckwudgies, and baykoks are high
  • A group of Anglos are on pilgrimage across the frontier led by a prophet.  With his magical seer stone he translates a golden book and claims that Paradise is further West.

 The Wicked West is home to intrigue and skullduggery
  • Just as every tycoon keeps a cadre of Regulators in his pay to protect certain interests, Patent doctors do as well.  Many medicine shows cultivate the air of the carnival to obscure a core of murderous steel.  They have to always stay on the lookout for those who would steal their secret elixirs.
  • Secret societies that claim to know the True Way to Heaven crop up in the larger towns, some claim that the Cruach Mining Company hides something similar in Management's ranks.  The sun is shining....
  • The U.S. Government has started to send out Masonic surveyors to re-establish the cornerstones and recreate the Founding Fathers' greatwork.  They also have orders to whip up posses and kill Confederate Filibusters wherever they find them.
  • Settlers in Texas report seeing large, stepped triangular structures floating high in the sky.  The Mexican government has nothing to say on the matter.